Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

I believe the second half of one's life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.

Frances Lear

Deck the halls at Grey Nuns NICU

December 23, 2015

11-day-old Merlin is oblivious she is having her first taken photo with Santa.

Santa quietly enters baby Merlin’s room. Her mom, Manju Wilson places the precious little girl whom she dressed in a festive sleeper for the occasion into the cradled arms of the Jolly Old Elf. Merlin was born 11 days ago, at 32 weeks weighing only 3 lb, so it is an unexpected surprise for her whole family that she is celebrating her first Christmas.  

“We are doing well,” says Manju Wilson. “ The visit from Santa was very nice.”

Santa is played by Andrew Posh, the husband of Katie Posh, one of the RNs on the Neo-Natal Intensive Care unit (NICU) at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital. The unit cares for babies born 30 weeks and older. Katie says she wanted to provide a Christmas memory for families who won’t be going home for the holidays. One of her own children spent time at the Misericordia Community Hospital NICU, so she has an idea what parents are going through.

“A baby’s first Christmas is a special thing, I just wanted to spread some cheer during what can be quite a stressful time,” says Katie.

The entire unit is decked out for the holiday season.  Unit Manager Val Harrison applauds the spirit and enthusiasm of the entire NICU team. For close to two decades, she has led the charge, but it is her staff who take the reins when it comes to the actual decorating.

“I come up with the theme a year in advance and collect decorating ideas throughout the year to fit the theme. This year it is Merry Christmas from our home to yours,” says Val Harrison. “The staff then take the ideas and run with it. “

There are approximately 30 doors elaborately decorated  and all the railings on the unit are wrapped with garland and handmade bows.

For Katrina Dickie-Bould the effort the staff put in at Christmas is just one example of their dedication. Katrina has been at the NICU with her son Coen since November 12.

“The staff  love their jobs 100 per cent. They love these babies,” says Katrina. She then pauses to compose herself before adding, “The nurses are really amazing, it has been incredible.”

Katrina Dickie-Bould’s son Coen was born at the Royal Alexandria Hospital at 28 weeks weighting 2 lb 15 oz. He was moved to the Grey Nuns NICU in mid-November.

From left, Andrew Posh (Santa), Katie Posh, the  nurse who came up with the idea to offer families the opportunity to have their baby’s first photo with Santa. Nurses Molly Grundy (elf) and Chetna Patel volunteered to be Santa’s helpers.